Community perspectives reveal limitations of World Bank's accountability mechanism

Author: Intl. Human Rights Law Clinic, Univ. of California, Berkeley, Published on: 22 March 2017

"Accountability & International Financial Institutions: Community Perspectives on the World Bank’s Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman", 22 March 2017

This report presents findings from a study of the Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), an accountability mechanism the World Bank Group (World Bank) created to ensure that it finances development projects that are sustainable and benefit the poor... The study’s main findings are as follows: 1. CAO acted as a convener of dispute-resolution meetings and not as an investigator in most cases... 2. CAO had some success as a problem solver...3. Many CAO complaints involve intractable conflicts that are resistant to resolution through problem solving... 4. Stark power imbalances exist between the parties involved in CAO cases... 5. Who filed the complaint influenced CAO’s process and outcome... 6. The wealth of companies influenced CAO’s process and outcome... 7. There was no outcome in the majority of CAO cases...Recommendations: 1. Strengthen the accountability mandate of the World Bank Group’s Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman...2. Identify violations of international human rights standards...3. Address power imbalances between the parties...4. Expand scope of CAO’s compliance review...5. Clarify the role of complainants...

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